The UAE has become a bit of a hot spot for theme parks with Warner brothers world and Ferrari land in Abu Dhabi not to mention all the lands at Dubai Parks and Resorts. As we were in Dubai with a toddler we decided that the first park we should try on our tour of UAE theme parks on our Dubai Bucket List was the Motiongate Dubai theme park. It promised a lot of entertainment with rides and lands based on family favorites Madagascar, Shrek and How to Train your Dragon – but did it live up to our high expectations? Here’s our honest Motiongate Dubai Review.
Motiongate Dubai Review
Lands and theming at Motiongate review
As you enter motiongate you enter the equivalent to Disney’s Main Street but here it is called studio central. Themed on a Hollywood backlot. There are plenty of eateries and souvenir shops and some dance offs and parades take place here.
Like all great theme parks motiongate is split into different themed lands! To the left of studio central is the Lionsgate area. Only two films are represented here – step off – a theatre show and the biggest attraction rides being themed on Hunger Games. There is a bullet train ride and panem aerial tour. These rides are definitely for the adrenaline junkies.
Top tip: the bullet train ride has a notice outside that their seats are not for all body shapes – I didn’t try this but based on experience on other rides some of the cars are extremely tight.
The next land off Studio Central is Columbia pictures – home to rides based on Cloudy with a chance of meatballs, hotel Transylvania, Green hornet, zombie land, underworld and ghost busters.
Each of these films has its own small section but Hotel Transylvania ride is the centrepiece! This is a great area for those travelling with older children and adults but not so great for those with toddlers and small children. All rides in this section has a height limit and our over 90cm toddler could only ride the hotel Transylvania ride! This was a nice ride where cars criss crossed each other as you went through different rooms in the hotel.
Next to columbia pictures is smurf village! This is a good area for those travelling with younger children as you can ride the smurfs studio tour and also there are two jungle gym play areas to let your kids blow off steam.
The final area and the place we spent most time was DreamWorks land – a completely covered area which is split into four distinct areas – Shrek, Madagascar, how to train your dragon and king fu panda! My little girl definitely had the most fun in this area but it isn’t just for littles as Madagascar has the fastest coaster in the park.
What is there at motiongate dubai with toddlers and young kids
DreamWorks is definitely the best area for small children but even the rides in this area have restrictions. There was nothing my little girl could ride in how to train your dragon, one ride (Shrek journey) in Shrek area – she loved this one so much however we went in it three times, two in Madagascar and there is only one ride – mr pings noodle cups in king fu panda that littles can ride.
Top tip: Melman go round – they make even adults wear the seatbelts on this carousel. I am an average sized lady and I was fine on Alex but on the tiger the seatbelt was digging into me. A man on the ride at the same time as me wasn’t allowed to ride as the seatbelt wouldn’t fit and I would say he was average in size not large. It seems silly everyone not just children have to wear seatbelt but they are the rules. If you are tall or an average man you may struggle with the belt in some horses.
Character meetings and shows at motiongate dubai
There are lots of character meetings and shows to keep people of all ages entertained. Be sure to take a picture of timings at the entrance.
Our little girl loved learning king fu with po earning her kung fu academy headband.
Unfortunately the Madagascar shows were not on when we were there but we did meet the penguins, captain du Bois and Julien!
Best Motiongate Dubai rides
Obviously the best Motiongate Dubai rides is quite a subjective thing but here are the top ten Motiongate Dubai Rides you shouldn’t miss
- Capitol Bullet Train (Lionsgate) – fast with a 360 degree rotation.
- Madagascar Mad Pursuit (Dreamworks) – the fastest rollercoaster in the park
- Swinging Viking (Dreamworks)
- Zombieland Blast Off (Columbia)
- Shrek Merry Fairytale Journey – absolutely my daughters favourite ride which is a car ride round the Shrek story.
- Green Hornet High-Speed Chase (Columbia)
- Dragon Gliders (Dreamworks)
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs River Expedition (Columbia)
- Mr Ping’s Noodle Fling – tea cup rides based off Kung Fu Panda (Dreamworks)
- ghost Buster’s Battle for New York (Not for young children as may frighten).
The ride that we queued longest for and have to admit I was a bit disappointed with was the Hotel transylvania ride. It is a ride around the hotel but I found the theming wasn’t completed and nothing really happened on this ride.
I’d love to find our your best rides at Motiongate Dubai in the comments!
Motiongate dubai location and how to get there
Motiongate is located at the Abu Dhabi side of Dubai! It takes about an hour to get to from central Abu Dhabi and 40 minutes from Dubai international airport. It is a great day trip from both Dubai and Abu Dhabi! There is ample parking but if busy you will have to take a shuttle from the car park to the parks! Alternatively you can buy tickets with private transfers!
Next Read: Dubai Vs Abu Dhabi – a Comparison Guide
Is motiongate Dubai air conditioned? Aka should you visit in summer?
The answer is partially! DreamWorks is all under cover being indoors however the other lands are not! However the queues tend to be under cover.
Overall I think motiongate is good to visit in either summer or winter.
Looking for tip on what to wear in Dubai? Check out this post!
Where to get Motiongate Dubai tickets and discounts
As with any theme park, I recommend buying your tickets online to avoid having to suffer the long entrance queues! If I am honest I have never been to Motiongate when it has been crowded. The queues we found t the entrance were the worst in the park and I wouldn’t say this was due to the volume of people but the speed and lack of cashiers.
Depending on who you are traveling with and how many parks you want to visit it might be worth buying a combination ticket but there are single park options. Otherwise, if you are considering hitting a lot of Dubai’s attractions in a week then the Dubai explorer pass may be a money saver – you can check the cost and inclusions here!
You can buy your online Motiongate Dubai tickets via Viator using this link!
Or you purchase your tickets in advance via Get Your Guide here!
If you are a resident you could consider using an entertainer voucher or consider purchasing an annual pass
Overall is motiongate worth it?
I would say that Motiongate is definitely worth a visit especially if you are travelling with older children or as a group of adults as there are plenty of rides to go on. If you are travelling to Motiongate Dubai with a toddler you will be restricted to one area – Dreamworks and there are limited rides you can use. We tend to spend half a day at Motiongate with toddlers and do all the rides at least once. If you are visiting in Summer then the Dreamworks is also covered and air condition making it one of the best indoor things to do in Dubai.
Friday 21st of February 2020
The que for the rides are endless Not worth it
Wednesday 6th of February 2019
really enjoyed reading your review. it all the more attracted me to visit motiogate dubai. We will be traveling this weekend and planning to visit it. wanted to know few things if you don't mind helping me.
1) when you say take a picture of timings at the entrance for shows, where is this exactly??
2) are there any timings for meeting the characters at the parks like disneyland??
3) and lastly is there anything like photo pass or something where the professional photographers take photos with the characters and stuff..
hope you could revert back !!! have a nice day
Wednesday 6th of February 2019
Hello, we saw one on the office just past the entrance! Asked the security and they should be able to point it out! This board also tells you where you can meet the characters! I don’t believe there is a photopass but I wasn’t looking for it to be honest - hope it helps